Brendon Hartley says he is already about ensuring he stays in Formula 1 beyond the end of the 2018 season following his surprise entry to the sport last year with Toro Rosso.

Former Porsche LMP1 driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso for the final four races of last season before being handed a full-time seat for 2018, becoming an F1 rookie at the age of 28 and some eight years after being dropped from Red Bull's junior programme.

Having gained his F1 seat in rather unique circumstances, Hartley is already beginning to think about his future beyond the end of the season and ensuring he will remain the sport for more than just one year.

"It's already been on my mind," Hartley acknowledged when asked about his future beyond 2018.

"It was a dream to have my first debut grand prix, then to become a full-time driver, but then very quickly you accept the fact that, OK, I'm in Formula 1, how do I make the most of it? How do I make the right decisions and work hard enough to keep improving and also prove to everyone that I deserve to be here and stay here?

"Taking it one step at a time, it's better that I just focus from one race at a time, but I feel a lot more prepared than last year and really ready for this new challenge with Toro Rosso Honda."

Hartley explained how the highly technical nature of Porsche's LMP1 programme helped him prepare for racing in F1, having made the transition back to single-seaters after five years away.

"Driving with Porsche in LMP1 the last four years I would say was the perfect preparation for me. Racing at Le Mans for Porsche comes along with a lot of pressure, so that's something that I feel quite prepared for coming into Formula 1 where the pressure is extremely high," Hartley said.

"You're working with 20, 30 engineers at the race track, similar again, similar amount of people, similar processes, how you deal in those meetings, all the mechanics; media to a certain extent, at Le Mans especially.

"And also working with the likes of Mark [Webber] and Timo [Bernhard] in those early years, working together rather than against, there was a lot I could learn from the both of them.

"Although it's been an unconventional path to Formula 1, I hope I can show that it was the right one and it worked for me."

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